Jeffrey Menzies was found guilty of shooting and killing Chico pastor David Yang two years ago, only hours after the prosecution finished closing arguments on Monday.
In a statement after the verdict was reached, prosecuting attorney Mark Murphy said, "I'm very grateful for the jury's decision. They had to hear some horrific things, but their decision will help to ensure that the community is safe. By all accounts, David Yang was an exceptional young man, which makes his loss all the more tragic."
In the closing arguments, Murphy compared what Menzies did to hunting, saying that he used "classic hunting decisions while waiting for prey to show up."
The family of David Yang spoke with members of the media outside the courtroom.
"Let us not take this time to reflect on the trial and the person that was tried. But let us reflect on the person that was taken from us," said Blong Yang, the victim's brother. "May the verdict of today be the beginning of our healing process. The world is one less short of an angel that it desperately needs. We are one less short of a loved one. David was a person with a big heart."
The prosecution also posted text and broke down the pretext of the phone calls between Menzies and his best friend, Daniel Slack, who was with Menzies on the night that Yang was killed.
Murphy pointed to Slack's testimony, DNA evidence of clothing in a dumpster found at Slack's apartment, and explained the terms needed for the jury to deliberate including first degree murder, malice for jury, premeditation and intent.
The prosecution is asking the jury to find Menzies guilty of first degree murder and two special allegations.
The defense gave a rebuttal, accusing Slack of lying and assuming, they tried to poke holes in unintelligible drunk statements on the phone calls and pointed to character references given by the testimonies of Menzies' family and friends.
Menzies' sentencing will be on Oct. 11. The prosecution is seeking life in prison without parole.